Booker bill would legalize marijuana at federal level

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker says he's introducing legislation to legalize marijuana at the federal level.

Booker announced his measure Tuesday in a Facebook Live video.

He says the legislation is needed to because the federal marijuana prohibition unfairly affects poor and minority citizens, who he says are subject to arrest at greater rates than wealthier and white people.

The Marijuana Justice Act, as Booker is calling his bill, would not only legalize the drug, but it would also allow people serving time for marijuana-related offenses to be re-sentenced and automatically expunge federal marijuana use and possession crimes.

The bill goes one step further and would use federal funds to encourage states to loosen marijuana laws as well.

The legislation comes in the face of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' stiff opposition to the drug. Sessions has said he wants to crack down on the drug even as a growing number of states legalize it.

Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana.

In New Jersey the Democratic front-runner for governor, Phil Murphy, supports legalization. Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno says she backs decriminalization.

The Associated Press news wire service contributed to this report.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Your New Jersey 2017 Halloween Costumes

    Your New Jersey 2017 Halloween Costumes

    Friday, October 20 2017 3:03 PM EDT2017-10-20 19:03:05 GMT
    News 12 wants to see your costumes for 2017.News 12 wants to see your costumes for 2017.

    Will you be scary or fun this Halloween? Either way, News 12 wants to see your costumes for 2017. Send them using the hashtag #NJHalloween on Twitter or Instagram and you may see your photos on News12.com or on air!

    Will you be scary or fun this Halloween? Either way, News 12 wants to see your costumes for 2017. Send them using the hashtag #NJHalloween on Twitter or Instagram and you may see your photos on News12.com or on air!

  • New Jersey's 2017 Haunted House Guide

    New Jersey's 2017 Haunted House Guide

    Friday, October 20 2017 6:45 AM EDT2017-10-20 10:45:38 GMT

    Looking for a good scare this Halloween? Check out some of the frightening haunted houses in New Jersey.

    Looking for a good scare this Halloween? Check out some of the frightening haunted houses in New Jersey.

  • Forces comb ghost city Raqqa after IS ouster

    Forces comb ghost city Raqqa after IS ouster

    A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces stands at a position overlooking the iconic Al-Naim square in Raqa on October 18, 2017.A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces stands at a position overlooking the iconic Al-Naim square in Raqa on October 18, 2017.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces flushed jihadist holdouts from Raqqa's main hospital and municipal stadium, wrapping up a more than four-month offensive against what used to be the inner sanctum of Islamic State group's self-proclaimed 'caliphate'.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces flushed jihadist holdouts from Raqqa's main hospital and municipal stadium, wrapping up a more than four-month offensive against what used to be the inner sanctum of Islamic State group's self-proclaimed 'caliphate'.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."